Dicamba Use Creates Divide in Farming Community


On this West Virginia Morning, as the world waits for resolution from the Trump Administration’s trade war with China, it’s a tough time to be a farmer — especially a soybean farmer. Soybeans are a $40 billion business in the U.S. But the crop price plummeted last year because of the trade war. Farmers are desperate for anything that can help keep their profits up. Like weedkillers.

For years, farmers have relied on chemicals like Monsanto’s herbicide Round-up, but weeds became resistant. Companies developed another weedkiller that relies on an herbicide called “Dicamba,” which is quite effective. But dicamba can harm surrounding plants and insects.

There’ve been petitions, lawsuits and even a death blamed on an argument over dicamba.  

In the latest episode of WVPB’s Us & Them, host Trey Kay and his colleague Loretta Williams travel to Arkansas to report about a simmering battle pitting farmer against farmer.

Also on today’s show, synthetic opioids have caused more overdose deaths in the Ohio Valley as death rates for other substances have fallen. The Washington Post looked into data from the Centers for Disease Control and found the region has the nation’s highest rates of death due to fentanyl. The Ohio Valley ReSource’s Aaron Payne reports.